The City Assessor is responsible for listing and keeping the records for all real and personal property in the City of Richmond. Real property is generally land and all things attached to it. Personal property would include machinery and equipment and is generally claimed by commercial and industrial businesses. The City Assessor is an administrative officer of the City and is appointed by the City Manager with approval of the City Council and works under the direction of the City Manager.
Each year the Assessor is required by state law to individually place an assessment equal to 50% of true cash value on all property in the jurisdiction. An assessment roll is created from these assessments and is one of the factors in determining the property tax bill.
The State Tax Commission provides assessors with manuals and guidelines to follow to help maintain uniformity and equality in the assessments. Sales studies are also prepared annually to help estimate values.
With the exception of a few records (such as personal property statements and real property confidentiality forms) all records in the Assessor's office are available for review by the public. These records would include the property parcel cards, legal descriptions, sales study data, lot and building sizes, plat maps, and State Tax Commission manuals.
Properties are estimated on the fair market value which is the price most people would pay for it in its condition on the assessment date. The best indicator of fair market value are sales of similar properties. Even if your property recently sold, other factors are used in determining market value. These factors could be other sales in the area, sales that would be considered as qualified, and adjustments for special circumstances that could decrease or increase prices.
A popular misconception on assessed values is that property values do not increase and the values should go down because of depreciation. Physical change in not the only reason for a change in value. The market has a lot to do with property values. If a neighborhood is decaying or has a deterrent factor such as a new factory being built - this could cause property values to decrease. Conversely, if a neighborhood becomes "fashionable" - this would cause property values to increase. A shortage of homes in a desirable area can send sale prices to outrageous levels. The assessor and home-buyers all need to pay attention to the same market values when valuing property.
The Assessor's office collects the data necessary for valuation of property. This information is recorded on the property assessment card which may be reviewed for accuracy by anyone. The cost figures used on the assessment card are provided by the State Tax Commission and updated yearly.
By state law, the assessment rolls must be completed by the first Monday in March and available for review by the taxpayers. Assessment Change Notices are mailed in February that will include the current year assessment and tentative taxable value. An informal review of their information may be requested by the taxpayer with the Assessor prior to the more formal review conducted by the Board of Review at their March meetings. The Board of Review members are City of Richmond residents appointed by the Mayor and City Council to review the assessment rolls.
In 1994 Proposal A was passed which states taxes will be based on taxable value. Taxable value is the lower of the State Equalized Value (SEV) or the Cap Value (simplified, the cap value is based on the cost of living increase times the prior year's taxable value). The cost of living multiplier is called the Inflation Rate Multiplier (IRM) and cannot be more than five percent. The Taxable Value will not increase more than five percent of last year's taxable value unless there is an uncapping.
The local taxing jurisdictions determine the millage rates which determine the amount of taxes to be collected. The City of Richmond has properties located in both Macomb County and Saint Clair County. The local taxing jurisdictions are the City of Richmond, Richmond Community Schools, Macomb or Saint Clair Intermediate School Districts, Macomb Community College, and the State of Michigan for the State Education Tax.
For information regarding the city's millage rates, please refer to the City Treasurer's page here.